MRA for assembling medical devicesBosch showcases rotary pen assembly machine at AchemaAt Achema, Bosch Packaging Technology showcased its latest version of the rotary pen assembly machine MRA. Developed by the Bosch subsidiary Moeller & Devicon, the machine is designed to assemble medical devices such as standard four-piece disposable pens or single-shot auto-injectors. These are used, for instance, for diabetes care, the treatment of autoimmune diseases, hormone replacement therapies or emergency medicine.The assembly machine MRA from Bosch assembles the four components of disposable pens – pen caps, cartridge holders, cartridges and dosing mechanisms“We introduced the MRA to the market at last year’s Interpack in Germany. Since then, we have refined the technology by cooperating with several manufacturers of pens and auto-injectors, and have adapted the assembly processes for different models,” Michael Andersen, sales director at Moeller & Devicon, explained. “This way we can offer customers the appropriate machine with the required features according to the pens or auto-injectors in use.” Together with primary and secondary packaging solutions, the new MRA can be combined to complete lines.
Four pens at the same time
The MRA assembles the four components of each pen one step at a time – infeed systems load the pen caps, cartridge holders, cartridges and dosing mechanisms into the machine from four different in-feed stations, and fit them together to ready-to-use pens. The fully-automated machine handles four pens at the same time and achieves an output of up to 70 pens a minute. Incorrectly assembled products are automatically detected and rejected.
Due to its open construction, the platform offers a good overview of all stations and processes, ensuring easy operation and format settings. The automatic transportation and control stations between the different assembly steps reduce operator intervention and manual handling to a minimum. A Human Machine Interface (HMI) enables operators to monitor all process functions precisely. The compact design and small footprint fully comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP5).
Upstream and downstream options
As an option, the MRA platform can be combined with additional upstream and downstream equipment. For instance, the liquid pharmaceuticals can be filled into cartridges and inspected for particles and cosmetic container defects on other Bosch equipment. “What customers ask for most are additional downstream solutions,” Michael Andersen said. This includes labelling machines from Moeller & Devicon, which have been especially designed for pens and auto-injectors, as well as fully automated horizontal cartoning machines either from Bosch or third-party suppliers, which can be combined to complete lines. An integration of downstream case packing and palletizing equipment is also possible.
“The flexible and modular design of the MRA platform enables an upgrade with further process steps, such as laser engraving of the pens or serialization,” Andersen stated. Moreover, the platform can also be adapted for other medtec products, such as infusion sets, cannulas or catheters. The entire range of rotary pen assembly machines by Moeller & Devicon is complemented by manual, semi-automated and fully automated linear solutions for all customer requirements.